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Chapter Forty

Christmas turned out to be one of the best Christmas' ever, despite the fact that my parents hadn't been a part of it. Faith came over, and we spent the whole morning opening and exchanging gifts, sipping Emmie's famous hot chocolate as we did so.

I tried to hide my disappointment when I opened Emmie's gift and saw that it was a scarf. Little did I know that the "scarf" was actually the blindfold I'd be instructed to use when they led me out to the garage so I wouldn't be able to see my real Christmas gift - a brand new car - until I slipped it off.

          On New Years Eve, Emmie let me invite Logan, Faith, and the guys over so we could all be together when the clock struck midnight. We counted down the seconds along with the Time Square Ball as it dropped, cheering and whooping and happily celebrating the start of a new year.

          But as difficult as it was to get through the holidays without my parents, nothing could've prepared me for what was about to happen.

Looking back, I realize that there had been a lot going on to distract me from remembering that important day. There was work, graduation, college, and Logan to think about, and my mind was so jam packed that I didn't have room to focus on anything else. I was precisely at work the night everything started going downhill.

"Why are we always the last ones to go home on Fridays?" I asked Logan as I finished wiping down the shiny surface of table number ten. I stood up straight and wiped my forehead with my arm, looking up to see Logan shoot a glance in my direction from behind the bar and smile at me as he cleaned off the surface of the coffee maker.

"Are you complaining about working late beside your boyfriend?" He asked, raising his eyebrows teasingly.

"No," I retorted with a playful smile turning my lips upwards. "But I'd much rather be watching movies and eating ice cream with you instead of cleaning the scraps and food stains off these tables."

"Touché." Logan replied through a chuckle.

"Alright guys," Jack said as he strolled out from the kitchen and gained our attention with his booming voice. "I think that's enough for tonight. Could you lock up before you leave?"

"Sure, no problem." Logan replied, nodding and offering him a smile.

"That's why you guys are my favorite employees!" Jack called out as he made his way over to the door.

"For everything we do, we better be!"

          Jack turned around and grinned, lifting a hand to wave goodbye as he walked past the door and made his way over to his truck. Returning a wave and smile of my own, I swung the old rag over my shoulder and walked to the back to grab my things, Logan following close behind me.

          Untying my apron and hanging it up on the apron rack, I slipped on my coat and grabbed my purse from the shelf. Logan grabbed the keys to the restaurant and taking my hand, he led me out to the parking lot. After making sure to lock the front door securely, we hopped into his car and spoke comfortably about whatever came to our minds. When we finally arrived at my house, I turned in my seat and kissed Logan goodnight, promising him we'd have a movie date the following weekend before I popped the door open and slid out. I walked up the driveway, trying not to smile foolishly at the fact that Logan didn't leave until I was safely inside the house.

          I strolled into the kitchen with a happy-to-be-home sigh and lazily dropped my bag down on the dining table. I slipped my coat off, throwing it across the back of one of the chairs and called out to Emmie that I was home.

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